Cities Rock

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Edward Glaeser, professor of economics at Harvard University, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and the author of Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier, looks at cities around the world and throughout history to show that they are the pinnacle of human achievement.


Edward Glaeser

Comments [10]

Gaetano Catelli from online

re: "I can't picture you on Fox News."

don't underestimate my homie, Brian.

Feb. 11 2011 01:22 AM
Chris Kellogg from Madison, NJ

Cities Rock:

To somehow separate the "city" from the "suburb" is to miss the fact that they are mutually dependent. When cities were walled they were clearly separate.

But now the outer boroughs of NYC are virtually the same as the the adjacent areas that wrap around the city.

Manhattan's density may make it efficient & green but the gradient of efficiency drops off quickly off rapidly as you move out.

The megalopolis is really what we live in & what should be measured for efficiency.

Chris Kellogg

Feb. 10 2011 11:11 AM

some common ground :)

Feb. 10 2011 11:09 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Suburbanization destroyed America. The "American dream" has turned into the American nightmare precisely because of this wholesale transfer of population from compact urban areas out back into the countryside since the late 1960s,which created massive overconsumption of matter and energy, increasingly financed by debt. We cannot cut our government budget to get out of this mess. We have to cut our standard of living back to where it was in 1960, or 50 years back. Smaller homes and apartments, smaller cars, or no cars at all, and increased use of public transportation. It's going to happen anyway, regardless. The piper will be paid, one way or the other.

Feb. 10 2011 11:05 AM
mick from Inwood

The suburbs aren't how to live together but amid greenery as the guest said. Inwood is how to live together but amid greenery! That is, high rise apartments with large parks that combine landscaped child and adult playgrounds with natural woodlands.

Feb. 10 2011 10:58 AM
Marc from Bklyn

Explain how can it be good construction if it's all luxury high rises? Healthy for the wealthy maybe..

Feb. 10 2011 10:56 AM
antonio from park slope

Is it possible to retool the sprawling monstrosities to make them more city-like?

What dies Mr. Glaeser think of portland oregon? Some say it's actually a very good model of a 21st century city?

Feb. 10 2011 10:56 AM
gary from queens

Unlike the earlier Roman and Greek cities, cities in europe had ignored sanitary measures and thus suffered from the so-called "filth" (i.e. "zymotic") diseases of small pox, cholera, typhoid, etc. These diseases flourished in countries that had no sewage systems, no municipal water supply, nor any of the other modern improvements in living conditions which we take for granted today.

In The Sanitary Conditions of the Labouring Population of Great Britain, written in 1842 and now a valuable historical document, Sir Edwin Chadwick (1800-1890), Commissioner of the Board of Health of Great Britain from 1848-1854, maintained that the various forms of epidemic, endemic, and other diseases, whenever attacks are frequent, are always found in connection with damp and filth, and overcrowding; and that where the physical circumstances are improved by drainage, removal of refuse, proper cleansing, improvement in water supplies and better ventilation, such disease is abated; and if correction appears to be complete, the disease almost entirely disappears.

Zymotic diseases were rampant in European countries during the 18th and 19th centuries because the entire continent was a filthy, stinking cesspool. Poverty, squalor, ignorance and filth were everywhere. Montgomery’s English History says of the English cities: “The streets of London and other cities were rarely more than twelve to fifteen feet wide. They were neither paved nor lighted. Pools of stagnant water and heaps of refuse abounded. There was no sewage. The only scavengers were the crows.”

Feb. 10 2011 10:55 AM
Robert from NYC

You know Brian that's so parochial to say NYC is the most famous and recognized skyline in the world. I thought you were more cosmopolitan than that. The Eiffel Tower? Big Ben? The Duomo in Florence? I don't think they're any less famous nor recognized around the world.

Feb. 10 2011 10:55 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Thanks, Brian!
Wow, two segments this morning from Manhattan Institute scholars with sensible discussions of urban policy!!!

Careful, Brian....remember what happened to Juan Williams when he didn't march to the expected political drumbeat as a public radio employee.
I can't picture you on Fox News after your dismissal.

Feb. 10 2011 05:36 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.